Kim Gunnell struggled with her weight her entire life. Her gran’s passing was her turning point, which resulted in her meeting registered dietitian Jade Seeliger and kicking off her weight loss journey and a whole new way of seeing herself:
Why did you decide to see a dietitian? (the before story)
I’ve struggled with my weight throughout my life. No matter what I tried, things didn’t work and neither did my motivation to stick it out when the going got tough.
After my gran past away in March 2017, I decided to get rid of my comfort blanket (my hair) and I donated over 35cm to CANSA. This was the surprising start of my journey and the start of the investment in myself.
Tell us about your journey with the dietitian?
Jade has become a part of my life, from when I stand in the queue at Woolworths and am tempted by sweets to when I am having a bad day and am not wanting to go to the gym.
It’s so important to have a honest relationship with your dietitian, you can only BS your way to a certain extent as they honestly become a part of your life as you cover everything from bowel movements to menstrual cycles.
Jade has shown me that my relationship with food was they way it was because of my home environment, no concept of portions and a lack exposure to variety. This was all that I knew for 25 years of my life. However the past 365 days have opened my mind and mouth up to new foods, recipes and cooking methods.
Our relationship has well surpassed that of client and patient as she has not only guided me throughout the process but when I had stumbling blocks, she was able to recommend the next steps that were beyond her expertise.
Tell us about your results / successes?
To date, I have lost just short of 20kg’s in less than a year – with ups and downs along the way and with Jade being on maternity leave.
I hated running since I was a child. I used to dread having do it from both a physical and mental perspective and was never been able to wrapped my head around it. In 2016 I attempted the 10km Soweto Marathon race and it was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life at nearly 130kg (I cried all the way to the finish). However, this has changed since I decided to start running at gym and to enter the Spar Series, JP Morgan and my nemesis Soweto again. Needless to say, I finished my 10km in 1h19min which was 2 minutes faster than the time I set myself as a goal and I am now hooked. I’m participating in Park Runs every weekend and clocking a minimum of 10km a week at gym. Further to this, I have a goal of doing at least 10 x 10km races before the end of the year.
I’ve always put off things which have a predetermined weight restriction or will make me look ‘silly’ for trying, but I have now gone for a wake boarding lesson and learnt to ride a scooter. To some this may seem like small, but for me those were a big deal and something I’d always put off.
What was the hardest part of the journey?
There were two parts of my journey that were really hard and I still work on them daily:
1 – Loving the Scale (well trying to) – The scale was avoided for years prior to my choice to confront it. I had to learn to love and understand it far beyond the numbers that are displayed.
2 – Self Love – I’ve had to learn to love myself and recognize the change that I have undergone, past the numbers on the scale. This has been my biggest challenge as I have always done everything for everyone else, except myself and have been the size that I am for as long as I can remember. It has affected me from clothes shopping to getting in a aeroplane and feeling as if there is now more space. I am a work in progress as 25 years of negativity cannot be undone overnight or in a few months.
This is still a challenge for me, as I have to completely adapt my mindset and way I perceive myself and the world around me on a daily basis.
What are the top three tips you can share?
- You aren’t going to lose weight every time you get on the scale – make peace with it
- Notice and appreciate the smallest changes in yourself and body
- Stick to it, but don’t be too hard on yourself – even wheels fall of wagons
What the dietitian says
Some clients have the ability to not only to motivate themselves in their health journey, but in fact everyone they come into contact with. Kim was such an inspiration to me, to see someone turn their entire life around through the lessons they learnt in health made the journey a deeply fulfilling one for me as a dietitian.
To find a dietitian in your area, visit www.adsa.org.za